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Spring 2019: Landscaping to Create Outdoor “Rooms”

Landscaping to Create Outdoor “Rooms”

The summer sun is fantastic but even we Minnesotans think twice about sitting at a metal picnic table in the heat of July. The right amount of shade allows a property owner to maximize the time homeowners or clients spend enjoying an outdoor space. Majestic shade trees such as oaks and maples require decades to reach maturity and may not be the appropriate tree type for all properties. While trees should be part of every outdoor living space, but you can also cool down a space with plants surrounding a structure such as this attractive & practical gazebo on one of our customer's properties.

Show Stopping Apple Blossoms at Hartford Commons

Show Stopping Apple Blossoms at Hartford Commons

Fast growing flowering apple trees as shown here are always lovely. For quick color, texture and shade, Minnesota native vines can help create living walls. The University of Minnesota advises us to select such beauties as Clematis, American (not Oriental) Bittersweet or Riverbank Grape which quickly enshrine fences, gazebos, or pergolas. Vines can be planted in tight areas and perennial vines like those noted herein, typically require little maintenance other than pruning out dead wood in the spring and new mulch to minimize weeds and maintain moisture. These living walls serve not only as shady respites from the heat but offer up floral and foliage beauty and food for birds.

Outdoor "Rooms" are an enticing way to attract customers to shopping districts, get employees outside for a lunch break and fresh air, provide a healing garden for hospital guests and staff, or to provide residents a show stopping communal gathering area that greatly enhances property value and quality of life. However you create it, shade can make any outdoor area cool, comfortable and inviting all summer long.

Paulita LaPlante